Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
In his determination to find solution to the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, formerPresident Goodluck Jonathan said in Abuja on Friday, that he had met with the leaders of the two warring groups.
The leaders are the party’s National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and the Chairman of the sacked National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
He also said he had met with the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Though details of the meetings were not made public, the former President has however promised to speak on his efforts just as he commended members of the party for their unreserved support towards resolving the differences in the party.
The former President said this in a statement issued on his behalf by his Media Adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze.
The party had been engulfed in fresh crisis since the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, declared Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the party.
It outlawed decisions taken at the party’s national convention where Makarfi and other members of the caretaker committee were appointed.
Makarfi, backed by the governors and some members of the party’s at the National Assembly, had rejected the court verdict and proceeded to the Supreme Court.
His faction has also asked appeal court to order for the stay of execution of the judgement.
But backed by the judgement, Sheriff and his supporters had moved to the party’s national secretariat, which had hitherto been locked up by security agents following clashes by the two factions.
In a dramatic turn of events, the governors elected on the platform of the party agreed to find political solution to the crisis after their meeting with Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday.
There were insulations in some quarters that the former President has asked the two leaders to step down to enable him find solution to the crisis.
However, in his statement on Friday, the former President Jonathan urged them to ignore rumours and false information which he said were being passed off as the outcome of the continuing dialogue, stressing that he “would address the public on the positive outcome of the consultations, at the appropriate time.”
He regretted that there had been some speculations since he met with the governors of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, adding that most of the reports represented what he described as “often contradictory perspectives on the on-going consultations towards resolving the issues in the PDP.”
He urged the public and well-meaning PDP members to ignore such misleading conjectures, which he said were obviously the handiwork of those who he said did not wish the party well, and were therefore not happy with the current reconciliation efforts.
The statement said, “The fact that the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, promptly addressed journalists at the end of the meeting, to the effect that an agreement was reached on seeking a political solution in resolving the differences in the party, clearly showed that there was no ambiguity in messaging.
“It is obvious that those behind the misleading publications have failed to achieve their aim, as the former President has seamlessly continued with the consultations and reconciliatory meetings.
“It is instructive to note that since the meeting of last Tuesday with the governors, ex-President Jonathan has also met with many other key leaders of the party, including the Chairman of BOT, Sen. Walid Jibrin; deputy Senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, in line with his resolve to carry all the organs of the party along.
“There is no doubt that the statesmanship evident in the former President’s reconciliation efforts precludes his laying preconditions, as is deliberately being misrepresented by a section of the media.
“We hereby reiterate that the former President is determined to continue on this path of inclusive dialogue, by working with the BOT, members of the National Assembly and other key stakeholders, until the internal dispute is finally resolved.”
Jonathan urged the public and loyal party members to continue to support the peace process and not to listen to rumours, promising to address them on the positive outcome of the consultations, at the appropriate.